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Deadpool (film)

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Deadpool
Official poster shows the title hero Deadpool in his traditional red and black suit and mask with his arms crossed, and the film's name, credits and billing below him.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tim Miller
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Starring
Music by Tom Holkenborg
Cinematography Ken Seng
Edited by Julian Clarke
Production
companies
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 8, 2016 (2016-02-08) (Le Grand Rex)
  • February 12, 2016 (2016-02-12) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $58 million[2]
Box office $783.1 million[2]

Deadpool is a 2016 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the eighth installment of the X-Men film series. The film was directed by Tim Miller from a screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role alongside Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, and Stefan Kapičić. In Deadpool, Wade Wilson hunts the man who gave him mutant abilities, but also a scarred physical appearance, as the antihero Deadpool.

Development of a Deadpool film starring Reynolds began in February 2004, before he went on to play the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. Reese and Wernick were hired in 2010, and worked with Reynolds to more faithfully adapt the character (including his fourth wall breaking) after the portrayal in Wolverine was criticized for not doing so. Miller was hired in 2011 for his directorial debut, and an enthusiastic response to leaked test footage he created with Reynolds led to a green light from Fox in 2014. Additional casting began in early 2015, and filming took place in Vancouver from March to May. Visual effects were provided by multiple vendors and ranged from the addition of blood and gore to the creation of the CG character Colossus.

Deadpool was released in North America on February 12, 2016, after an unconventional viral marketing campaign. The film became both a financial and critical success: it earned over $783 million, breaking numerous records and becoming the overall highest-grossing R-rated film, the highest grossing X-Men film, and the ninth-highest-grossing film of 2016; it received critical praise for Reynolds' performance, the film's style and faithfulness to the comics, and its action, though some criticized the plot as formulaic as well as the sheer number of jokes in the film; and it received numerous awards and nominations, including two Critics' Choice Award wins and two Golden Globe nominations. Deadpool 2 is set for release on June 1, 2018.

Plot

Wade Wilson is a dishonorably discharged special forces operative working as a mercenary in New York City when he meets escort Vanessa. They become romantically involved, and a year later she accepts his marriage proposal. However, after Wilson is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he leaves Vanessa without warning so she will not have to watch him die.

A mysterious recruiter approaches Wilson, offering an experimental cure for his cancer, he is taken to Ajax and Angel Dust, who inject him with a serum designed to awaken latent mutant genes. They then subject him to days of torture to induce stress to trigger any mutation Wade may have, but without success. Wilson discovers Ajax's real name, Francis, and mocks him for it; in response, Ajax leaves Wilson in a hyperbaric chamber that takes him to the verge of asphyxiation periodically over a weekend. It finally activates a superhuman healing ability that cures his cancer, but leaves him severely disfigured with burn-like scars over his entire body, he escapes from the chamber and attacks Ajax, but relents when told that his disfigurement can be cured. Ajax subdues Wilson and leaves him for dead in the burning laboratory.

Wilson survives and seeks out Vanessa, but then does not reveal he is alive, afraid of how she would react to his new appearance, after consulting his best friend Weasel, Wilson decides to hunt down Ajax for the cure. He becomes a masked vigilante, adopting the name "Deadpool" (from Weasel picking him in a dead pool), and moves into the home of an elderly blind woman named Al. Deadpool questions and murders many of Ajax's men until one, the recruiter, reveals Ajax's whereabouts. Deadpool intercepts Ajax and a convoy of armed men on an expressway, killing everyone but Ajax, he demands the cure, but is interrupted by the X-Man Colossus and his trainee Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Colossus wants Deadpool to mend his ways and join the X-Men. Taking advantage of the distraction, Ajax escapes, he goes to Weasel's bar and learns of Vanessa.

Ajax kidnaps her and takes her to a decommissioned helicarrier in a scrapyard. Deadpool convinces Colossus and Negasonic to help him rescue Vanessa. While Colossus and Negasonic battle Angel and several soldiers, Deadpool fights his way to Ajax, during the battle, Negasonic accidentally destroys the equipment stabilizing the helicarrier. Deadpool protects Vanessa from the falling ship, while Colossus carries Negasonic and Angel to safety. Ajax attacks Deadpool again, but reveals that there is no cure after Deadpool overpowers him, despite Colossus's pleading, Deadpool kills Ajax, though he promises to try and be more heroic moving forward. Though Vanessa is angry at Wilson for leaving her, she reconciles with him.

Cast

(L-R) Tim Miller, Reynolds, Baccarin, T. J. Miller, Hildebrand, Skrein, and Carano speaking at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con
  • Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson / Deadpool:
    A wisecracking mercenary with accelerated healing but severe scarring over his body after undergoing an experimental mutation.[3][4] The writers described Deadpool as "fun to hang out with ... in short doses",[5] while Reynolds promised a more "authentic" and comic-faithful version of the character than the one he portrayed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.[6] The character is aware that he is in a film after becoming Deadpool, though before that point Wilson does make a joke about Reynolds' role in Green Lantern.[7]
  • Morena Baccarin as Vanessa:
    An escort and Wilson's fiance.[8][4] Baccarin described her as "scrappy" and not a damsel in distress, the character was initially designed as a "typical prostitute", but Baccarin worked with the costume and makeup teams to make her appearance more layered.[9] The film does not explore the character's comic alter-ego "Copycat" as the writers wanted to focus on Deadpool,[10] but makeup designer Bill Corso included some references to Copycat's blue comic appearance.[11]
  • Ed Skrein as Francis Freeman / Ajax:
    An artificially-mutated member of the program that creates Deadpool,[12] he feels no pain and has enhanced strength.[4] Director Tim Miller praised Skrein's dedication to the role, saying "he worked really, really hard" for the fight sequences and completed around 80 percent of his own stunts in the film.[7] Skrein was influenced by Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty from Blade Runner, and serial killer Harold Shipman.[13]
  • T. J. Miller as Weasel:
    Wilson's best friend.[14][15] Miller felt he was cast as the character because he "looks like his superhero power is spilling mustard on his shirt", and producer Simon Kinberg added that an actor was needed "who could keep up with" Reynolds comedically. Miller attempted to give the character a facial tic, but director Tim Miller rejected the idea.[16]
  • Gina Carano as Angel Dust:
    An artificially-mutated member of the program that creates Deadpool,[17] she has superhuman strength and speed.[4] Director Miller personally called Carano and asked her to take the part. Carano felt the character's rage and "extreme adrenaline issues" made comparisons to the drug "angel dust" fitting.[17] Carano had wanted to wear yellow contact lenses to match the character's look from the comics, but Corso turned her down, comparing them to something from the Twilight films.[11]
  • Leslie Uggams as Blind Al:
    An elderly blind woman and Deadpool's roommate.[18][19] Uggams said that Al has "been through British Intelligence, she's done all kinds of wild and crazy things ... she's old, but she's feisty." Uggams added that Al has a "love/hate" relationship with Deadpool.[19]
  • Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead:
    A teenage X-Men trainee, who possesses the mutant power to detonate atomic bursts from her body.[20][4] The filmmakers wanted to use the character based on her name, and looked to change her comic abilities from telepathic and precognitive powers to "a literal warhead", they required permission from Marvel to do this, with Tim Miller talking directly with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.[21][7] A deal was reached allowing the change in exchange for 20th Century Fox giving Marvel Studios the film rights for Ego the Living Planet, whom they wanted to use in the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[22]
  • Stefan Kapičić as the voice of Colossus:
    An X-Man with the mutant ability to transform his entire body into organic steel.[23][4] Writer Rhett Reese called him "a great foil to Deadpool because he’s very self-serious and goody- two-shoes".[10] Director Miller drastically changed the character from his previous film appearances, where he was portrayed by Daniel Cudmore, as Miller felt "'That dude with the shiny skin is not fucking Colossus.'" He wanted the character to be seven-and-a-half feet tall,[7] with Andre Tricoteux standing in for a CG version of Colossus on set,[24] and Kapičić cast to give him the "authentic Russian accent" he has in the comics.[23]

Additionally, Karan Soni portrays Dopinder, a taxi driver who befriends Deadpool,[25] and Jed Rees portrays a recruiter for Ajax.[7] X-Men co-creator Stan Lee and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld make cameo appearances as a strip club emcee and a patron of Weasel's bar, respectively.[26][27] Rob Hayter makes a cameo appearance as Bob, Agent of Hydra, a recurring character in the comics alongside Deadpool,[27] the rights for Bob are owned by Marvel Studios, who did not give permission for him to be used in the film, so his comic history and connections to the organization Hydra are not referenced in the film. He is instead explained as a former special forces operative like Wilson.[28] Wolverine star Hugh Jackman was very supportive of Deadpool, and of it making fun of himself and his character, and is seen in the film via his People's Sexiest Man Alive magazine cover.[10]

Production

Development

Artisan Entertainment announced a deal with Marvel Entertainment in May 2000 to co-produce, finance, and distribute several films based on Marvel Comics characters, including Deadpool.[29] By February 2004, writer and director David S. Goyer and star Ryan Reynolds were working on a Deadpool film at New Line Cinema after working together on the Marvel film Blade: Trinity.[30] Reynolds was interested in the part after learning that Deadpool refers to his own appearance in the comics as "Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei",[31] the idea was championed by New Line executive Jeff Katz, who thought Reynolds was "the only guy who can play that character". However, there were rights issues with 20th Century Fox and their X-Men films, and the project did not move forward.[32]

By March 2005, Fox had expressed interested in a film featuring Deadpool,[33] and the character was set to make a cameo appearance in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Reynolds cast, his role was expanded during the production of that film.[34] Katz was an executive at Fox by that point, and said that Deadpool was "nicely set up to be explored in his own way" in a future film,[32] the film's portrayal deviates from the original comic character, "imbuing him with several superpowers and sewing his mouth shut." The character also apparently dies in the film, though a post-credits scene showing the character still alive was added to the film shortly before its release. After the successful opening weekend of Wolverine, Fox officially began development on Deadpool, with Reynolds attached to star and X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner involved. The spinoff was set to ignore the Wolverine version of Deadpool and go "back to the roots of the character known for his slapstick tone and propensity to break the fourth wall."[35]

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired to write the script in January 2010,[36] with Reynolds talking to the pair every day. He said that they were chosen because, "Tonally, they got it, they just [understood Deadpool] right off the bat."[37] By that June, Robert Rodriguez had been asked to direct the film,[38] which he confirmed a month later, saying he had been sent a "really good" script for Deadpool and was considering taking on the project.[39] He was no longer interested in October, and Adam Berg was being looked at to direct;[40] in April 2011, Tim Miller was hired to make his directorial debut with the film, after working on the visual effects for some of the X-Men films. Reynolds had also closed a deal with Fox to produce the film.[41] Miller was hired in part because of his work creating animated short films, including the Academy Award-winning Gopher Broke and a DC Universe Online trailer which was "epic and cinematic, everything [Fox wanted] their comic book movies to be."[42][43]

Reynolds' Green Lantern superhero film was released later in 2011 and was "a disaster", tainting the project which Fox executives were already concerned with due to its R-rated content, the studio agreed after several meetings that the film could not be reconfigured to a more traditional PG-13 rating, and gave Miller "a low-six-figure budget" to produce some test footage.[42] Miller created the footage with CGI at his animation company Blur Studio in 2012, with Reynolds' voicing Deadpool,[44] the footage did not convince Fox to green light the film.[42] After the successful release of Marvel's The Avengers, Reese and Wernick thought Deadpool may have been approved as an already developed superhero film, but Fox was even more doubtful of the script then and began exploring ways to potentially include Deadpool in an Avengers-esque team-up film.[45] At different times during development, James Cameron and David Fincher, both friends with Miller, read the film's script and championed the project to Fox executives.[46]

"I would have [leaked the test footage], if I had known it would have caused that! ... Now, we get to make the movie. We don’t get to make it with the budget of most superhero movies, but we get to make it the way we want to make it."
—Star and producer Ryan Reynolds on Deadpool finally getting the greenlight after the test footage leak.[47]

The test footage was leaked online in July 2014,[48] and was met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response,[42] that September, Fox officially gave Deadpool a release date of February 12, 2016.[49] Production was set to begin in March 2015, and Simon Kinberg joining as producer.[3] Reynolds "100 percent" attributed Fox's greenlighting of the film to the leak. He, Miller, and the writers had discussed leaking the footage themselves before, and Reynolds initially thought that Miller had leaked the footage, he later believed that the leak came from someone at Fox. In exchange for being able to make the film how they wanted to make it, Fox gave the crew a much smaller budget than is typical for superhero films.[47]

Writing

Reese and Wernick wrote a draft of the script each year before completing the film,[10] with around 70 percent of the initial draft ending up in the final film.[5] Reese described Reynolds as "the keeper of the Deadpool flame for many years ... if we ever do something that is off the Deadpool path, or if it doesn’t feel like Deadpool, he catches it."[50] The writers did not want the film to be an origin story, but Reynolds disagreed, they settled on a "modern" Deadpool story as well as the origin story, connected with Deadpool's narration and fourth wall breaking. This helped balance the darker origin story with the cartoon-like Deadpool scenes, it also allowed the opening fight sequence to be extended through the first half of the film (with the origin story told throughout), saving money on additional fight scenes.[10] This fight sequence, labeled the "Twelve Bullets Fight", reimagines the original test footage.[7] Once the origin story is told, Deadpool uses a "fast-forward button" to take the audience back to the present-day.[10]

In October 2014, Kinberg confirmed that Deadpool would be set in the same shared universe as the X-Men films, but would "stand independently"[51] The writers wanted a traditional X-Man in the film as a foil to Deadpool, and felt Colossus was a character that had not been explored much in previous films.[10] Miller wanted "more superhero stuff", instead of "just Deadpool and a lot of guns", and the character Negasonic Teenage Warhead was added as a trainee X-Man mentored by Colossus,[10][7] she was chosen from the list of comic characters available to be used by Fox, based on her name.[7] The characters Garrison Kane, Wyre, and Sluggo were included in the script at one point, but ultimately removed for budgetary reasons,[7][46] while Cannonball and Tar Baby were also considered.[7][13] The cut villains were replaced by a single character, Angel Dust,[52] the character Cable was also set to appear, but was eventually pushed to a potential sequel so this film could "get Deadpool on his feet" first.[46]

The writers worked to keep the script's pop-culture references up-to-date over the years of development.[13] Kinberg confirmed that the film would make fun of Deadpool's portrayal in X-Men Origins: Wolverine,[51] it also makes jokes at that expense of Green Lantern.[7] While Miller felt that it was okay for audience members to not understand all of the jokes in the film, he wanted to avoid things specifically targeted to comic fans, saying that "any joke that an audience needs to look up on the internet after the movie is not something I’m in favour of."[7] The film's post-credits scene is a parody of the equivalent scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where the title character breaks the fourth wall like Deadpool; in the scene, Deadpool wears a bath robe and tells the audience to go home.[53] He also confirms that Cable will appear in the sequel,[54] after reading the scene, a Fox executive described the film as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off meets Natural Born Killers", which the writers felt was an accurate description.[53]

48 hours before the film got the official green light from Fox, the studio cut the film's budget by $7–8 million,[52] down to $58 million.[2] This forced a last minute re-write that saw about 9 pages cut from the previously 110 page script. Changes included the removal of a motorcycle chase at the end of the Twelve Bullets Fight, and having Deadpool forget his bag of guns before the final battle sequence to avoid having a costly gun fight in the third act. Reese said, "It was that last, lean and mean chop that got us to a place where Fox was willing to make it, the script was very efficient and not too long. That was a function of budget more than anything, but I think it really made the movie pace nicely."[52]

Pre-production

In January 2015, T. J. Miller and Ed Skrein were in talks to appear in the film, Miller as "an additional comic voice" and Skrein as a villain.[55] A month later, Fox was testing actresses to portray the female lead, including Morena Baccarin, Taylor Schilling, Crystal Reed, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Sarah Greene, and Jessica De Gouw.[56] Gina Carano was cast as Angel Dust, and Miller was confirmed for an unspecified role.[15] Baccarin was cast as Deadpool's love interest before the end of February.[8] Colossus actor Daniel Cudmore stated he would not be reprising the role for Deadpool,[57] having declined an offer to provide reference for a CG version of the character to be voiced by another actor.[58]

An immediate focus during pre-production was Deadpool's suit,[59] with Russ Shinkle and Film Illusions hired to create the costume. Shinkle noted that "comic book art is fairly over the top in terms of physique", and he tried to balance that with reality.[60] Reynolds did not wear a muscle suit under the costume, which Tim Miller felt gave the costume a slimmer, "quintessential Deadpool" look.[61] Miller and Reynolds wept when they saw the completed costume,[61][62] with Reynolds explaining that "we fought like hell ... to make this the most faithful comic book to movie adaptation fans have ever seen. That’s hard to accomplish and a feat, but we’re just so happy with how this came out."[62] The costume was designed with the film's stunts in mind, with the eye areas on the mask removable so versions of the eyes better suited for the stunts could be used without changing the whole mask,[60] the suit was difficult for the visual effects team to replicate with CGI, which visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart blamed on its fabric. He described it as mesh that allowed dirt to "get into the gutters and the cracks ... [so when] the light hits it, it still takes that orangey hue but as soon as it goes in the shadow it dropped to this more blueish of the dirt."[24] Film Illusions made six hero versions of the costume and twelve stunt-specific versions, along with three hero versions of Negasonic Teenage Warhead's costume.[63]

For Deadpool's scarred appearance, Miller wanted him to appear "fucking horrible" to justify his anger in the film,[7] while makeup designer Bill Corso had some leeway because in the comics "he’s everything from a rotten corpse to a guy with a couple of lines on his face". Corso acknowledged the script's description of the character as disfigured but also wanted him to be "still kind of charming and iconic", he wanted to avoid comparisons to Freddy Krueger, and looked to Sin City for inspiration.[11] The final makeup required nine silicone prosthetics to cover Reynolds' head, which took several hours to apply,[64] for the scene where the character is naked, it took six hours to apply the full-body makeup to Reynolds.[7] Corso described the makeup for the rest of the film's characters as "pretty simple. Tim wanted to keep it really grounded."[11]

Filming

Principal photography began on March 23, 2015, in Vancouver, under the working title Wham. Filming took place in North Shore Studios and on location around the city,[65] the production hired over 2,000 local people as actors, extras, and crew members.[66] T. J. Miller and Baccarin were revealed to be playing Weasel and Vanessa, respectively,[67][14] and Skrein confirmed he was in the film, playing Ajax.[68] Newcomer Brianna Hildebrand was cast as Negasonic Teenage Warhead.[20] Filming ended on May 29.[69]

Tim Miller and cinematographer Ken Seng wanted the film to look "grittier and less clean and glossy" than other superhero films, and decided to shoot with digital cameras but add film grain in post-production to keep texture in the images. Seng used Super Baltar lenses and Cooke zooms for the origin story timeline, opposed to Panavision primo lenses for the Deadpool scenes which gave them more clarity. Exterior scenes in the film have a consistent overcast look, but location shooting came with "unpredictable" weather,[70] for instance, the production had use of the Georgia Viaduct for two weeks, and "just had to keep shooting, rain or shine, because once our permit expired on the bridge, we were never going to get it back." Seng used more lighting on cloudy days and less on sunny days to keep the look consistent.[70][65] Production designer Sean Haworth also worked closely with Miller, who had specific ideas for the sets, the production had to be very specific about which elements of each set were built physically to conserve the budget for visual effects. For the final scrapyard scene, garbage was built to a certain height to be extended with CGI, and a gimbal was used for a tilting section of the yard that had to interact with a lot of digital elements,[71][72] that final sequence was filmed in a naval yard, and was dressed with scrap metal. Rubber casts of the metal were made for stunts.[73]

Stunt coordinator Philip J. Silvera in costume as Deadpool, on set in Vancouver.[74]

Reese and Wernick were on set every day,[5] which Reynolds personally paid for after Fox was unwilling to,[75] the writers had scripted the action very specifically, "every kill and almost down to every punch, kick, or shot", but Tim Miller and the stunt coordinators were free to change this.[5] Robert Alonzo and Philip J. Silvera were the stunt coordinators for the film;[24] Silvera had provided motion capture reference for the test footage,[76] the stunt team had a month before filming began to prepare the actors, with Skrein working "nonstop" to prepare. Silvera said Reynolds "has a photographic memory; he'd do something three or four times and remember it very well."[77] A lot of the jokes in the film were improvised on set, particularly by Reynolds,[10] he said that the actors often came up with around 15 alternate jokes for each one written in the script, and were generally only limited to those because of time constraints.[78] Reese said, for example, Wernick had written some jokes for the scene where Deadpool visits Colossus and Negasonic, but on set Reynolds improvised the line "You know it’s funny how I only see the two of you here. It’s like the studio couldn’t afford any more X-Men." This was based in truth, and became then Fox chairman Jim Gianopulos’ favorite line.[10]

Post-production

Leslie Uggams said that she was in the film in July 2015, portraying Blind Al.[18] Tim Miller stated that Jed Rees portrays "The Recruiter", and "did a good job of being creepy and syrupy sweet." Miller explained that Colossus would be a solely CGI creation in the film because, as a fan of the character, he had never felt that Cudmore's version was accurate to the comics and wanted to show the character as "this monstrous guy".[7] Andre Tricoteux had been cast in the role, providing motion reference on set and the voice;[24][23] in December, the voice of Colossus was revealed to have been recast, with Stefan Kapičić taking over the role. He completed his work eight weeks before the film was scheduled for release.[23]

As soon as editor Julian Clarke began selecting shots for the film, they were color graded by EFILM's Tim Stipan to ensure that they matched with each other.[70][79] Stipan colored the characters slightly differently, such as giving Deadpool a "dark, modern touch" and Colossus a "particular vibrancy and substance".[80] Clarke edited each scene focusing on humor, choosing between alternate takes of jokes, he removed jokes made after Vanessa is kidnapped because they felt inappropriately timed, and cut down other scenes with less jokes such as Wilson being tortured as they were "too much. You took too long to recover [and] get back in the irreverent spirit of the movie.". During editing, a linear version of the film was produced, they decided to go with interweaving the timelines to balance the different serious and silly tones.[79] A sequence removed from the film saw Wilson and Vanessa travel to Mexico looking for a cure after he turned down the recruiter, it was removed for pacing reasons, and was replaced with a short scene of Wilson sitting beside his window that was originally filmed to show him thinking about his diagnosis, but in the new context implies him re-thinking the recruiter's offer.[81]

Because of the animation required for Deadpool's mask and Colossus, Reese and Wernick had more freedom than usual to keep adjusting the script during post-production. Reynolds recorded new lines of dialogue using his iPhone, and then re-recorded the lines in an additional dialogue recording session once the film was finalized. Lines added after filming included Reynolds doing an impression of Wolverine star Hugh Jackman's natural Australian accent, and another where Deadpool asks whether the character Professor X is being portrayed by James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart at that point in the X-Men timeline, which became a favorite line in the film for many audience members.[82]

Visual effects

Visual effects for Deadpool were produced by Digital Domain (DD), Atomic Fiction, Blur Studio, Weta Digital, Rodeo FX, and Luma Pictures.[24] Reynolds credited Miller and his visual effects experience with producing a film that looked liked others with much bigger budgets.[78] Motion capture supervisor Greg LaSalle agreed with this, noting that Miller held off on working on the CGI for Colossus until after the film was edited to avoid spending money on shots that would not be used.[83] Miller worked with visual effects supervisor Rothbart to design and complete the film's 1500 effects shots, these were up from a planned 700 shots, with 800 of them completed in the last four weeks of production.[84]

Top: Andre Tricoteux on-set as Colossus, wearing a gray tracking suit. Bottom: Completed shot, with CG Colossus by Digital Domain and environment by Atomic Fiction.

Colossus's movements were re-recorded with performer T.J. Storm, as Tricoteux had been unable to move athletically due to the platform shoes he had to wear on set to replicate the character's height. LaSalle was used for his facial performance. DD then mapped these performances onto a digital model that was designed to be comic-accurate, the team sought specific reference for Colossus's metallic finish to avoid looking "chromey", visiting a metal company to look at various samples. They settled on cold rolled steel, with the darker hot rolled steel used for his hair, the model also includes ridges on the character, which could be moved separately from the rest of the model to keep them always perfectly straight as in the comic books.[24] DD also created the model of Deadpool that was used by all vendors, his mask is animated around the eyes to be expressive as in the comics, which helped balance out the "chinwag" caused by Reynolds' acting coming through the bottom of the mask. Replacing Deadpool's head fully was going to be too costly, so Weta Digital instead warped each shot based on facial reference from Reynolds, and adjusted the lighting to reflect the changes, this was called an "ingenious 2D-ish solution".[24]

Atomic Fiction created a freeway environment for the "Twelve Bullets Fight", with a backdrop based on Detroit, Chicago, and Vancouver, the vendor also created the vehicles in the sequence.[24] These assets were used by Blur for the opening titles, which moves through a frozen moment where Deadpool is fighting thugs inside a crashing car, it includes titles such as "Directed by an overpaid tool" and "Produced by asshats",[24] with Reynolds, Miller, and the writers coming up with their own credits in the hope of setting the tone for the rest of the film.[10] Luma contributed blood and gore to the film, using practical footage as well as digital effects for more complex scenes. When Deadpool cuts off his own hand, DD did not want to be "outdone" by Luma, and had "buckets of blood pouring out". Luma created the regrowing hand, inspired by the hand of a fetus.[24] When Deadpool breaks both his hands, DD went through 20 or 30 different versions of what broken fingers could look like,[66] for his initial scarring, Rodeo FX referenced rotting fruit and maggot-eaten meat. The company added a CG penis to Reynolds in the sequence, which "you don't even notice [but] when it wasn't there it looked really weird". Rodeo also augmented the practical fire in the scene.[24]

The different vendors all collaborated for the final battle sequence, which takes place in the wreckage of a helicarrier: Luma created the climactic fight between Deadpool and Ajax; DD created the majority of the Colossus effects, except for when he is damaged later on, which was handled by Blur Studio; DD also created the effects for Negasonic Teenage Warhead's abilities as well as expanding the helicarrier's deck; Rodeo contributed matte paintings for the background; and Weta provided the facial animation for Deadpool.[24][85] Negasonic's abilities were the only "supernatural effect-sy thing" in the film, and were based on fuel-air exposives and solar flares to try ground them in reality.[84] Setting the final sequence on the wrecked helicarrier was Miller's idea, to help expand the scope of the third act and include more connections to the comics and wider Marvel Universe.[86] To avoid rights issues with Marvel Studios, the helicarrier for Deadpool was designed to be "as different as possible from the one in The Avengers."[85] Additionally, a French animation artist with a "unique style" created 2D cartoon characters that dance around Deadpool after he is stabbed in the head during the fight.[24]

Music

Tom Holkenborg announced in October 2015 that he would compose the score for Deadpool.[87] Holkenborg noted that Deadpool only makes musical references from before 1990 in the film,[88] and so wanted to use sounds from the 1980s, such as an Oberheim and a Synclavier for Deadpool's main theme.[89][90] Reese and Wernick had several songs to be used in the film written into their script, some of these ultimately did not work as intended—for instance, the sex montage between Wilson and Vanessa played out to Frank Sinatra's version of "It Was a Very Good Year" in the script, but this was changed to Neil Sedaka's "Calendar Girl" during editing.[81] A soundtrack album featuring Holkenborg's score and the songs heard in the film was released digitally on February 12, 2016, and physically on March 4 through Milan Records.[91]

Release

Deadpool held its world premiere at the Grand Rex in Paris on February 8, 2016,[92] before beginning its release in Hong Kong the next day. This was followed by 49 other markets over the next few days, including North America on February 12,[49][93] it was released in several formats, including IMAX, DLP, premium large formats and D-Box.[81] Kinberg explained that unlike the previous X-Men films, Deadpool is "a hard R. It’s graphic. Nothing is taboo. You either commit to a truly outrageous boundary-pushing kind of movie or you don’t."[94] The film was denied a China release due to this, and though R-rated American films are often "cleaned-up" for release in the country, it was decided that "it wasn't possible to excise the offending material without causing plot problems."[95] It was also not released in Uzbekistan, after the theater owners in the country decided against showing the film because "it has an age restriction and is not in line with ethical norms in our society."[96] Deadpool received seven "general cuts" to get approval for release in India.[97]

Marketing

The marketing budget for Deadpool was smaller than usual, like the production budget, so Reynolds worked closely with Fox domestic marketing chief Marc Weinstock to use the internet to their advantage and come up with cheaper, "Deadpool-based" ways to market the film. Weinstock noted that it was unusual for an actor in a film to do this.[98][99] Reynolds kept one of the Deadpool costumes for himself, and appeared in it throughout the marketing campaign.[59] Visual effects vendor Image Engine animated Deadpool's mask for these appearances, using a similar process to that used by Weta Digital for the film.[24]

Reynolds promoting the film at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con

In March 2015, Reynolds revealed the Deadpool costume in a parody of a famous magazine shoot of Burt Reynolds lying on a bear skin in front of a fireplace,[100] the next month, Reynolds said in an interview on Extra with Mario Lopez that the film would be "family friendly", only to see Deadpool seemingly murder Lopez and announce that the video was an April Fools' joke and "Deadpool will of course be rated R."[101] In July, director Miller and several cast members attended the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con to present a trailer for the film, which received a standing ovation from attendees who requested that it be played again.[102] Writing for Business Insider, Joshua Rivera praised the trailer for translating the humor, tone, and violence from the comics.[103] Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter opined that Deadpool "looks like the first movie that talks to the fan audience in their own language", and praised Stan Lee's strip club cameo.[104]

Two teasers were released on August 3 featuring Deadpool: one where he promises the arrival of the trailer and describes Fox as "the studio that inexplicably sewed his fucking mouth shut the first time",[105] and a short tease at the end of a new trailer for Fox's Fantastic Four,[106] the full trailer was then released, now with completed visual effects.[103]For Halloween, Reynolds released a video with himself in the Deadpool costume, interacting with a group of children dressed as X-Men, he asks them questions such as "How many of you have taken a human life?"[107] On December 14, a "12 Days of Deadpool" campaign began with "new images, a featurette, or maybe a new poster" released for the film each day by companies such as People, JoBlo.com, Fandango, and Mashable leading up to the release of a new trailer on Christmas Day.[108]

In January, fan events in New York City and Los Angeles that promised "first look footage" were actually early screenings of the film. Reynolds attended the New York screening, while Tim Miller attended the Los Angeles screening with Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, Lee, T.J. Miller, Reese, Wernick, and Hildebrand,[109][110] for Super Bowl L, Fox arranged for Reynolds to run a taco truck on the Friday before, serving Deadpool's favorite food chimichangas; on the Saturday, a location near the Super Bowl stadium was transformed into the bar from the film, with Reynolds and T.J. Miller present to socialize; and during the game, Fox bought a commercial for the film while Reynolds was given control of the company's Snapchat account.[111] For the week beginning February 8, Fox teamed with Viacom to show Deadpool commercials on five different Viacom networks, covering series targeted at several different demographics, including: Teen Mom and Ridiculousness on MTV; Tosh.0, Workaholics, and @midnight on Comedy Central; Love & Hip Hop on VH1; The Golden Girls on Logo TV; and Cops on Spike. @midnight also featured a segment dedicated to the film.[112]

Additionally, unconventional billboards for the film were put up, including one selling it as a romance film because of the closeness of the film's release to Valentine's Day, and one featuring the emojis "💀💩L" which was described as both idiotic and brilliant.[113][110] Videos released for the film included a public service announcement parody instructing men on how to check for testicular cancer,[114] played during an episode of The Bachelor;[115] holiday messages for Chinese New Year and Australia Day;[111] a cross-promotional video with Manchester United;[111] a video starring Betty White;[111] and an appearance on Conan where Deadpool gives Conan O'Brien a massage.[113][116] Reynolds promoted the film on social media, taking part in a faux rivalry with Hugh Jackman on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.[113] The campaign also took advantage of Snapchat, Tinder, and Porn Hub;[116][117] in the two weeks before the film's release, there was an average 10,000 to 20,000 tweets about it a day, which jumped to 90,000 after the early screenings.[115] Weinstock said, "There's a lot of debate as to whether or not social media can really open a movie ... and this proves it can."[99]

Discussing the campaign for Wired.com, Emma Grey Ellis called it "a relentless marketing siege of every platform you would think of—and some you didn’t ... as crazy and unrelenting as it all is, isn’t this exactly what we want from Deadpool?"[113] Bobby Anhalt at Screen Rant called it possibly "the best film marketing campaign in the history of cinema", and noted that Deadpool's fourth wall breaking allowed "the marketing team [to] make stunts that appear as though the character himself is crafting them."[110] HostGator's Jeremy Jensen attributed the campaign's success to Reynolds, as well as Fox embracing the film's R rating. He concluded that, "More than anything the Deadpool marketing campaign managed to create a relationship with the people who ended up going to see it, they were honest, creative, and completely relentless."[116] Alisha Grauso of Forbes felt the campaign's success came from the marketing team understanding the character, having freedom from the usual creative constraints put on film marketers, and not revealing much of the film's actual content. Grauso also praised the marketing team for utilizing Reynolds, and said, "Audiences have been more than ready for the weird and wild, and that's the point—Fox was smart enough to see that and run with it. Most marketing campaigns don't give audiences credit for being all that intelligent or open-minded, but the campaign for Deadpool didn't hold back ... [it] was just like the character himself. Unpredictable, non sequitur, hilarious, perverse, and popping up in the strangest of places."[117]

Home media

Deadpool was released for digital download on April 26, 2017, moved up from the physical home media release, which came on May 10. The latter release, for Blu-ray and DVD, included behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and audio commentaries by Tim Miller and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, and Reynolds, Reese, and Wernick.[118] On November 7, Fox re-released the film and its special features on Blu-ray for the holiday season, as Deadpool's Holiday Blu-ray package.[119]

Reception

Box office

Deadpool grossed $363.1 million in the United States and Canada and $420 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $783.1 million, against a budget of $58 million.[2] It broke numerous records for its opening weekend gross across the world, and went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated film and the highest grossing X-Men film,[120][121] as well as the ninth-highest-grossing film of 2016.[122] Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $322 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the 2nd most profitable release of 2016. When discussing potential reasons for the film's surprise success, the site highlighted its marketing campaign.[123]

At the end of January 2016, the film was projected to earn $55-60 million over its opening weekend in the United States and Canada.[124] Fox's rivals projected the film to earn closer to $80 million, it ultimately opened at No. 1, making $132.4 million for the weekend, and $152.2 million over the long Presidents' Day weekend. Trying to explain this surprise, Fox's domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson said "it’s hard to comp and predict. You’re doing something that’s never been done. It’s like you throw the rulebook out the window." The weekend included $12.7 million from preview showings on February 11, $47.5 million on its opening day, $42.5 million on February 12, and $42.6 million on February 13, as well as $19.8 on February 14 to end the long weekend. These were all records for R-rated films and days in February. Additionally, $16.8 million of this came from IMAX screens, a record opening weekend for R-rated films and February releases in that format.[125] Deadpool gained an additional $55 million in its second weekend, down over 50% from its first weekend. This kept it at No. 1, and made it the fastest R-rated film to cross $200 million, doing so in nine days.[126][127] It became the highest grossing X-Men film and R-rated comic book superhero film the next day,[128] it remained in the No. 1 position for its third week,[129] but fell behind Zootopia and London Has Fallen the next week.[130] Deadpool's domestic run ended on June 17, after 126 days, with $363.1 million.[131][2] This was shortly after it became the highest grossing R-rated film worldwide,[120] the film's U.S. audience, across its whole run, was 59% Caucasian, 21% Hispanic, 12% African-American, and 8% Asian. It was also 62% male, and had an average age of 35.[132]

The film was released in 80 markets around the world, many of them in its first week, this included the United Kingdom, France, and Australia on its first day, February 9, where it was the No. 1 film and broke several records. The film also opened well in Asian countries, notably Taiwan, which Reynolds had traveled to for promotion and made the "central hub" of South East Asia for the film, and Hong Kong, where the film had the biggest Chinese New Year single day ever,[133] the film went on to gross $132.2 million for its international opening weekend, over $7 million more than was predicted. This included $9 million from IMAX showings, it was the No. 1 film in all markets it was released in for the weekend, except Poland and Malaysia where it was No. 2 behind local films Planet Single and The Mermaid, respectively.[134] The film broke the record for biggest opening weekend in Russia and Thailand, and set records for biggest R-rated film and February opening weekends in several other markets,[135] it remained in No. 1 for the international box office for its second weekend, dropping 47% to make an additional $84.7 million from 77 markets. The film made No. 1 debuts in 17 new countries, including Korea, Spain, and Italy, and maintained its No. 1 position in countries like the UK, Germany, and Brazil. Its continued performance in South East Asia was compared favorably to bigger superhero films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[136] It topped the international box office for a third consecutive weekend,[137] before falling to No. 3 behind Ip Man 3 and Zootopia in its fourth weekend.[138] Deadpool opened in its final market, Japan, in June. It was the No. 1 film there, with a $6.5 million opening weekend.[139]

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 84% based on 295 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining—and decidedly non-family-friendly—results."[140] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[141] Audiences polled by CinemaScore and PostTrack gave the film an average grade of "A" (on an A+ to F scale) and an average score of 97% excellence, respectively. 45% of the latter felt that their expectations of the film had been exceeded.[142]

Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post scored Deadpool three-and-a-half stars out of four, calling it a "voraciously self-aware comedy" and the first R-rated Marvel film "with real teeth". O'Sullivan praised the film's attitude and tone, along with Reynolds for making Deadpool a likeable character, and the film's action scenes.[143] TheWrap's Alonso Duralde said Deadpool "shouldn’t work, but it absolutely does", feeling that it successfully balanced the comedy with superhero action, and that the chemistry between Reynolds and Baccarin gave enough weight to the plot to support the tone and violence.[144] Calvin Wilson at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, and said that it was "smart, sexy, and outrageous", but that it would not work without Reynolds.[145] Peter Bradshaw gave the film four stars out of five for The Guardian, calling it "neurotic and needy—and very entertaining", and comparing it to Kick-Ass and Kill Bill, he did feel that the film's villains were underused though.[146] Writing for Uproxx, Drew McWeeny described it as "the world’s most violent and vulgar Bugs Bunny cartoon", and praised the film's unconventional plot structure, its personal stakes, the difference in tone and storytelling from other superhero films, and the cast.[147] Variety's Justin Chang said the film is "terribly arch and juvenile [but] also startlingly effective", praising Reynolds' performance (and the film's willingness to hide his looks under prosthetics), the script, and director Miller for staying "out of the way of his script and his star".[148] Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter felt the film took a while to get going, "but once it does, Deadpool drops trou to reveal itself as a really raunchy, very dirty and pretty funny goof on the entire superhero ethos".[149]

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers said the film "goes on too long and repetition dulls its initial cleverness" but the "junky feel is part of its charm." He praised the cast, particularly Reynolds, as well as Tim Miller's action sequences.[150] At the Boston Globe, Tom Russo gave the film three stars, he criticized the "featherweight" plot, but said that there is enough humor to support it, and that Reynolds was "born to play" Deadpool.[151] Chris Nashawaty graded the film a 'B' for Entertainment Weekly, saying it "doesn’t have the most adrenalized action sequences or the deepest origin story" but makes up for that with R-rated fun. Nashawaty felt Reynolds was the perfect star for the film, and is "a blast of laughing gas in a genre that tends to take itself way too seriously."[152] Tasha Robinson at The Verge felt there was too much juvenile humor, but was positive that the film did not make homophobic, racist, or sexist jokes, and that its overall tone remained joyous despite the material, she also praised the smaller scope of the film.[153] David Edelstein of Vulture said the film's jokes save it from a lack of subtext and strong villains, and noted the gratifyingly twisty" structure.[154] Manohla Dargi at The New York Times did not give the film a pass for listing its genre cliches in the opening credits before using them, but instead highlighted the "human" elements in the film and the moments where Reynolds and Tim Miller did "more than hit the same bombastic notes over and over again."[155] For IndieWire, Kate Erbland gave the film a 'B-', praising its style, and Reynolds' Deadpool for breaking the superhero mold, but criticizing the overall film for following genre conventions and focusing on "numbing" violence and un-original swearing and nudity.[156]

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan said that Deadpool "gets off to a fun start but eventually wears out his welcome", noting that though the film has a complicated narrative, that is just masking a conventional Marvel origin story. Turan did highlight the film's romantic element and Baccarin's performance.[157] Jonathon Pile of Empire gave the film three stars out of five, saying the number of jokes "will soon numb you to their impact", but calling the film a fun alternative to other superhero films.[158] Robbie Collin at The Daily Telegraph also gave the film three stars out of five, saying it is not "the future of superhero movies, but it’s an enjoyably obnoxious detour." He also felt that some of the film's jokes about superhero cliches were out of date by the time the film was released.[159] The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle did not appreciate the humor, fourth wall breaking, or violence, and concluded that the film is "bad, borderline garbage, but disturbing, too, in that it’s just the kind of fake-clever awfulness that might be cinema’s future."[160]

Accolades

Deadpool has received numerous awards and nominations, recognizing the film itself, as well as: the performance of the cast, particularly Reynolds as Deadpool; several technical areas, including the film's makeup, sound, and visual effects; and the film's marketing campaign. It was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards,[161] four Critics' Choice Movie Awards (winning two),[162] a Directors Guild of America Award,[163] five Empire Awards,[164] seven Golden Trailer Awards (winning two),[165] two Key Art Awards for marketing (winning both),[166] eight MTV Movie Awards (winning two),[167] a Producers Guild of America Award,[168] four People's Choice Awards (winning two),[169][170] six Teen Choice Awards (winning two),[171] and a Writers Guild of America Award.[172] It has also been nominated for three Saturn Awards and a Hugo Award.[173][174]

After being nominated for awards such as the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, and Writers Guild of America, Deadpool was considered a serious contender for several Academy Awards despite its content and tone,[175] including potential nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and, after its Producers Guild of America nomination, Best Picture.[176][177] When the film did not receive any Academy Award nominations, it was widely considered to have been "snubbed".[178] Analyzing potential reasons for this, Screen Rant's Alex Leadbeater said that though the film "earned a solid thumbs up from most", it was generally not praised by top critics for offering any "depth or related subversion of its genre." He also noted an apparent bias that Academy voters' have against superhero films; the lack of a targeted campaign for the awards by Fox, who did not seem to be expecting any of the film's previous awards either; and the large amount of other films in contention, as "2016 was, all in all, a pretty good year for movies".[179] A variant cover for Marvel Comics' X-Men: Gold #1, with art by Ron Lim, references Deadpool's Oscar snub.[180]

Cinematic impact

Before Deadpool's success, the R-rated comic-based films considered successful were 300 (2006) and Watchmen (2009), which received around half the opening weekend gross of successful PG-13 superhero films. Kick-Ass (2010), a film tonally similar to Deadpool, had made even less with a $19.8 million opening. Many reasons were given for why Deadpool went on to be more successful than these, including the popularity of the Marvel brand and Reynolds performance.[125] Tom Huddleston, Jr. wrote for Fortune, that Deadpool was proof to Hollywood that R-rated films can be as successful as PG-13 films, "particularly when fans see the rating itself as validation that the film is true to its source material."[181]

A Hollywood executive, not involved with the film, felt it succeeded because it "has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel, that label takes itself so seriously; can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie?" James Gunn, director of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, refuted this and said Deadpool was a success because "it’s original, it’s damn good ... and it wasn’t afraid to take risks". Gunn hoped studios would learn "the right lesson" from the film and not just try to make more films "like Deadpool",[182] after Fox's Logan (2017) also became a success, Forbes' Paul Tassi reiterated Gunn's sentiments, saying the rating was "appropriate given the 'adult' nature of these two heroes", but "too much stock is being put into unrestrained violence rather than people examining what actually makes these movies work".[183] Graeme McMillan at The Hollywood Reporter concurred, adding, "Why not take the freedom that comes from that rating and try to re-approach the mainstream genre with that attitude?"[184]

In March 2017, a Warner Bros. executive said that an R-rated DC Extended Universe film could "absolutely" happen,[185] while Sony Pictures began developing an R-rated adaptation of the character Venom with a smaller budget, inspired by Fox's success with Deadpool and Logan.[186] In June, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in response to the successes that, though that company was not planning any R-rated films for its Marvel Cinematic Universe, "it’s not out of the question".[187]

Sequels

Before the film's release, Fox gave a sequel the greenlight, with writers Reese and Wernick returning to write the screenplay,[188] the involvement of Reynolds and Tim Miller was confirmed at the 2016 CinemaCon in April,[189] but at the end of October, Miller left the film over "mutual creative differences" with Reynolds.[190] The next month, David Leitch signed on to replace Miller for the sequel, while Fox was looking for another filmmaker to take on a third film.[191] Leitch first made a short film, No Good Deed, which was written by Reese and Wernick and played in front of Logan in place of a post-credits scene setting up Deadpool 2 being added to that film.[192][193] A slightly different version of the short was produced for release online on March 4, 2017.[194][195]

Deadpool 2 is set to be released on June 1, 2018,[196] with Leitch directing from a screenplay by Reese and Wernick.[191] Drew Goddard, who had been in the running to direct the film, consulted on the script.[197] Filming began in Vancouver in June 2017,[198] with Reynolds returning alongside Baccarin,[199] T. J. Miller,[200] Uggams,[201] Hildebrand,[202] and Kapičić,[202] after an extensive search, Josh Brolin was cast as Cable in April.[198] The film explores the team X-Force, which includes Deadpool and Cable;[203] in March 2017, Reese clarified that though Deadpool 2 sets-up the X-Force team, a future film focused on that group would be separate from Deadpool 3, "so I think we'll be able to take two paths. [X-Force] is where we're launching something bigger, but then [Deadpool 3 is] where we're contracting and staying personal and small."[204]

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